Monday, July 30, 2012

More lies from (no surprise) Outskirts Press

Outskirts Press is a notoriously dishonest and incompetent pay-to-publish company.

Its website has a page promoting dubious "Outskirts Press Benefits." 

It says: "Say good-bye [sic] to the hassles of independent self-publishing, like guessing print-runs, managing inventory, and the responsibility of order fulfillment."

With print on demand (which Outskirts and most independents use), there is absolutely no reason to even think about print runs, inventory or fulfillment. Outskirts is FULL OF SHIT.

Its website shows the following chart (with my corrections in red) comparing Outskirts to two other paths to publication: traditional and independent. The uncorrected chart is FULL OF SHIT.

(left-click to enlarge)
  • The chart says that with Independent Self-Publishing, there is no wholesale distribution to Ingram and Baker & Taylor. That's a LIE.
  • The chart says that with Independent Self-Publishing, there is no automatic online listings with top book retailers. That's a LIE.
  • The chart says that with Independent Self-Publishing, there is no marketing support. That may be a LIE. An independent publisher can pay for marketing support if needed, and Outskirts support is not free. It is not included in the company's least expensive publishing package. You can pay Outskirts $218 for an hour of telephone time with a marketing person having uncertain knowledge and experience. For that price -- or less -- an independent publisher can hire a real expert.
  • The chart says that with Independent Self-Publishing, there is no order fulfillment. That's a LIE.
If Outskirts Press says this year is 2012 and there are fish in the ocean, ask someone else.

Sometimes the company is outright dishonest when competing for your dollars. Other times it is merely inaccurate. Outskirts boss Brent Sampson wrote in Self-Publishing Simplified that  "Peter Mark first published the Thesaurus in 1852," strangely ignoring the much more famous Peter Roget who published his Thesaurus in the same year.

Actually Mark was the middle name of Peter Mark Roget, so Brent was two-thirds right. That's not good enough. A publisher should know better. Brent also wrote "forward" instead of "foreword." A publisher should know better.

As shown up above, the company's 'highly skilled editors' don't seem to know that "goodbye" and "print run" don't need hyphens.

Whether the Outskirts errors are due to sloppiness, ignorance or dishonesty, the errors are not forgivable and reveal big problems. STAY AWAY. 


I am not sure who created and photographed the Pinocchio puppet up above, but I thank her, him or them.)


  1. I believe you perform a great service in educating people to the world of publishing and you will likely never know how many people you have saved from heartbreak. Thank you once again. To be an Outskirts customer writers only need a checkbook and the I.Q. of a poprock.

  2. I am not so sure that you can set your own price at Outskirts. When I published my first book with them, I wanted to set the price at $12.95 and no lower. During the setup stages, it had been lowered to $11.95. I don't know why. I tried e-mailing the staff to have it set back to $12.95, but I never got a response back from them.

    Of course, now I know that price changes can only occur at the end of the month when working with Lightning Source. But there's no reason they couldn't have told me that.